Parties welcome Ramaphosa Sona, say he must act swiftly on corruption

The debate on his Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona has also seen him come under pressure to act swiftly and decisively on state capture and corruption.

FILE: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address at the Parliament on 16 February 2018. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Parties across the political spectrum have welcomed the hope and optimism sparked by President Cyril Ramaphosa taking over the reins from Jacob Zuma as head of state.

That includes the African National Congress, while even the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have said they will give him a chance.

But the debate on his State of the Nation Address (Sona) has also seen Ramaphosa come under pressure to act swiftly and decisively on state capture and corruption and the make-up of his Cabinet, while party divisions emerged over the land question.

Ramaphosa also came under fire for announcing summits on jobs and investment, instead of providing concrete plans to rebuild the economy and create jobs.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says President Ramaphosa can trim the bloated Cabinet he’s inherited by axing “compromised” ministers.

“Show South Africa that you’re really serious about fighting corruption in your party and fire Bathabile Dlamini, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, David Mahlobo, Lynne Brown and Mr R7,000 a night Bongani Bongo; [get them] out of your Cabinet.”

EFF leader Julius Malema says the red berets will give Ramaphosa some breathing space.

“We only give you a chance because you have not personally been found guilty of being a constitutional delinquent”

But Malema says land expropriation without compensation must be done without conditions attached while Ramaphosa has said it must be done in a way that boosts food security and agricultural production.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi gave Ramaphosa 10 out of 10 for his speech but warned that this first and greatest test would be the land question.

The marathon debate continues. Ramphosa is set to reply to it on Tuesday afternoon.

'EXPROPRIATION WILL NOT LEAD TO ANARCHY'

Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mcebisi Skwatsha says land expropriation will not lead to anarchy in South Africa.

But he says the government will not water down an ANC resolution for expropriation without compensation.

Skwatsha says if the land question is not handled properly, it could break the resolve to realise a democratic society.

But he says no decision on the land question will be imposed and there will be consultation.

“We are a responsible government, we believe in the principle of the rule of law, all of this will be coordinated not with anarchy but we are not going to water down.”

He says a workshop will be held next month to discuss how government will be implementing the ANC’s resolution on the land issue.